by Fred McMillin
for October 2, 1997

A Wine Suprise

The Wine: The Baron Herzog '94 Cabernet Sauvignon wins a double gold medal in the prestigious Taster's Guild International competition.

The Suprise: The suprise was that this winning Cab was Kosher!

The Rest of the Story: Actually, it should not be a suprise that kosher wines can be superior to non-kosher competition. After all the religious restrictions deal mostly with who can make the wine, not how they make it. From harvest to bottling, only Jews who observe the Saturday Sabbath may touch the wine or the equipment that makes it. A rabbi must observe and certify that the rules were followed. But those rules necessitate only trivial modifications in methods of winemaking. For example, the prohibition against use of animal products means that egg whites cannot be used to clarify the wine, a process called "fining." However, certain clays can be used just as effectively.

Kosher wines can be sweet or dry, white or red...and very, very good, as is this one.

1994 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, California
Baron Herzog Wine Cellars
San Martin, CA
A Certified Kosher Wine
Contact—Kimberly Griff, (415)346-2929
Food Affinities—Robust pasta, smoked fowl, prime rib
Price—A fine value at $13

Postscript: Whence the name "Baron Herzog"? Well, eight wine-making generations ago, Austrian Emperor Francis-Joseph liked the Herzog Riesling so well he knighted the head of the winery and granted him the title "Baron."

Note: We send greetings to all those of the Jewish faith. Oct. 2 is the first day of Rosh Hashanah, the New Year.

About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

Read more articles by Fred McMillin in the eGGsf

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